The season ended today for the Dogs with a 4-3 overtime win over the Kings in Powell River. The Dogs blew a 3-1 third period lead as the Kings fought back with two goals in the last six minutes to knot it up. In an ending straight out of a Disney movie, Bulldog Captain Daniel Moriarty ended his Junior A career by scoring the winner 8 seconds into overtime. As impressive as it was to see the team pull it out on their 3rd game in 2 and a half days, what was REALLY incredible was what happened when the team arrived back at the Multiplex.....
Since Saturday's game I had been promoting the fact that the Bulldogs office was inviting fans down to the Multiplex Sunday night when the team returned from the road to salute them and thank them for their efforts, while also giving the team a chance to do the same to the fans. WELL what a turn out tonight. Like I said, words cannot describe the moment. A true high point in Bulldogs history in my opinion. NO WHERE ELSE does a team end their season out of the playoffs and return home from the road to a couple hundred fans waiting for them and chanting
GO DOGS GO
GO DOGS GO
as the bus rolls up to the rink. Just plain incredible. What was REALLY special was being able to be on the bus and see the players reactions. The team staff knew- the coaches, the bus driver, the ownership, Jamie Amos and Jess Moser. The players had NO IDEA. As the bus pulled up in front of the rink, the players slowly started to notice that this wasn't the regular dog-tired return to the rink after a roadie. The front of the rink was packed with fans and banners. I usually don't EVER repeat what is said on the bus, but I will here. Alan Kerr stood up as the players realized something was going on. He simply said: "guys, one more thing to do. These people are here for you, to thank you. Please take a moment to thank them" Then, as the bus rolled up to the front of the rink he said "wow, I SURE WOULDN'T WANT TO WIN IN THIS CITY"
The players were just totally blown away. Shocked, amazed, emotional and on and on and on. Like I said, words cannot describe it totally. You just had to be there in the moment.
It is a moment like this that stays in a player's head from now through all of the summer work outs and training sessions as motivation to come back bigger, faster, stronger, and BETTER.
For those of you that weren't there, don't worry, I'm always working and always thinking. A video was taken by my better half Sarah. I will work on editing it together to give to the Dogs to get on the website. It won't fully capture the moment like being there, but it will still give you an idea of the response from the fans. Daniel Moriarty, Marcello Ranallo, and Alan Kerr addressed the crowd before the players mingled with the fans before heading to the dressing room one final time.
Port Alberni, Bulldog fans, this was just another chapter in your "we are the best fans anywhere, we are the best city to play anywhere" book. To other people that aren't a part of this, it makes you laugh to read it. To the people there a part of it, it brought tears to their eyes to be there.
Yah, I said it off the top, words cannot describe it. I tried at least, haha.
I'm off to bed. Morning show at 6 tomorrow morning, after this tough weekend. I'm outta gas.